Pacific’s Edge – Carmel, CA – 2014

120 Highlands Dr
Carmel, CA 93923
(831) 622-5445


We got a cheap-cheap weekend deal at the Highlands Inn in Carmel and couldn’t pass up staying again. It’s such a beautiful property on my favorite stretch of coastline in the world. We’d eaten at Pacific’s Edge on another free stay at the Inn and had a lovely dinner then so were looking forward to the meal this time. I poked around online and found that both the chef and the wine director had changed since our last visit which I was a little bummed about. Our sommelier at that dinner, Mark Buzan, was exactly on our wavelength. This time we took our own wine so it was less of an issue but our sommelier this time, Germaine, was so much fun! I’m sure she gets a lot of uptight Carmel-y people in there and we are not those people so we just had a great time.

We got the 4 course tasting menu plus a half dozen oysters. The oysters were nice, from Washington, served with a nice, simple mignonette and also cocktail sauce which was mostly ketchup…didn’t partake in that one. The first course on the menu was a poached lobster with fennel. The fennel was undercooked (it was pointed out that the chef likes it to have a nice crunch…it wasn’t crunchy so much as impossible to cut). A few bites in I was overwhelmed by Lucky Charms marshmallows…I guess the lobster was poached in Mexican vanilla. *shiver* That course made me a little sad.

Next was pork belly. This was better. It was a little dry but the flavors were good. Then came what was called “Wagyu” but was a corn-fed cut of beef. It was flavorful, cooked well…I mean, not well, but rare-medium-rare. It went well with the Burgundy we brought and was probably my favorite course.

The dessert was an apple tartlet and we got a wonderful glass of Tokaji to pair. It was really, really nice. Of course, at that point I’d had 1/2 a bottle of pinot and a glass of champagne so I have no information on the Tokaji. I didn’t take my camera, phone or notebook this time.

For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to end the evening with a hot toddy…and horrified the bar and waitstaff by pouring a glass of Oban 14 into a cup of hot water and honey. LOL! I’m horrible with whiskeys but I don’t want a hot toddy with crappy whiskey. I want it to taste good! They were mortified :P Needless to say, I had a less-than-stable walk back to the condo and I’m pretty sure my husband gave me a piggy back ride up the stairs….vague recollection of that!

The view is still beautiful. The bats still circle the outside at night. The food is fine and the wine list is rather impressive. If you’re in Carmel already, or if you get a free stay at the Highlands, it’s still got some good stuff going on.